As a parent, you may find yourself having concerns about a child. An awareness of child protection procedures will support you in taking the right course of action to help protect a child from harm.

Safeguarding issues are rarely standalone events that can be covered by one definition or label. In most cases, multiple issues will overlap with one another. Having said that, the following definition and categories are useful in determining whether abuse has occurred.

Abuse is a form of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting by those known to them or, more rarely, by others. Abuse can take place wholly online, or technology may be used to facilitate offline abuse. Children may be abused by an adult or adults or by another child or children.

 There are four categories of abuse:

1. Physical Abuse

2. Sexual Abuse

3. Emotional Abuse

4. Neglect

How to respond

You may be approached by a child who wants to talk to you about an incident or you may be

concerned about something you have witnessed. Child protection concerns can develop

slowly over time and they can reveal themselves through a single incident.

Responding to a disclosure can be an alarming situation to find yourself in and there are some useful things to consider during the disclosure –

1. Be prepared to listen and comfort.

2. Do not make promise that you cannot keep.

3. Explain to the child that you will need to pass the information on to someone who can

help to protect them.

4. Make them aware that their disclosure will be reported only to those who need to know

and can help.

5. Write down everything that the child tells you.

6. Do not show shock, revulsion or distress

7. Stay calm.

8. Reassure the child that they are right to tell.

9. Do not question the child; try to limit your involvement to listening.

10. Do not delay, report the disclosure.

Reporting concerns

You should never worry about passing on your concerns to the Police, the Local Authority or the Safeguarding Leads at Malmesbury School.

In the event of an emergency, phone the Police using the 999 number. If the risks to the young person are not immediate but they are significant, phone the Police using the 101 number.

If the risks are not immediate you can also contact the Local Authority (Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub) on 03004560100 (out of hours) and 03004560108 (working hours).

Alternatively, you can contact one of the Designated Safeguarding Leads at Malmesbury School by phoning reception (01666 829700) or emailing

The Designated Safeguarding Leads at Malmesbury School are –

  • Clark Harrell (Deputy Headteacher)
  • Paul Loveday (Senior Pastoral Leader)
  • Dan Baker (Assistant Headteacher)